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Six Apart's Virtual Suicide

You want to see what happens when a small company decided they want to be big and they forget about the people who got them where they are in the first place? Take a look here, read the trackbacks. I have no problem with Six Apart wanting to make money. What I have a problem with is that they are practically doing a wholesale dumping of those who don't want to cough up the big, big bucks for a paid version of MT. Hell, they won't even list your puny weblog on the recently updated list anymore if you don't pay for the new developer version. That sucks. For all the praising, touting and free adversting most of us have done for Moveable Type over the past years, and for all of us who donated to them in the early days, we get a fuckyouverymuch send off. I see where Ben and Mena are going with this; I think it's great that MT has come so far so fast and I totally see the need for them to offer a paid developer version. But I see no need to for them to rip things away from those who helped them get to this point. The recent update thing may seem like small potatoes - I don't know if I even get any hits from that - but it's the principle that matters here. What a stupid thing to take away from the free users. I think Six Apart just shot themselves in the foot with this one. So, how's that Word Press?


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A lot of us feel that way. I wouldn't mind paying 50 or $100 for "Personal" license that allowed me unlimited blogs/authors like I have now! I paid them $40 in the 1.x days and feel sort of betrayed, especially with it coming out of the blue.

I am looking at wordpress and expression engine. Expression engine costs money, but does support multiple blogs in an installation, unlike WordPress. I have to figure out how to run my blogs off it.

I hope Ben and Mena realize the mistake they made and become more reasonable before they run themselves out of business.

coughExpression Engine

As one of the people/companies who did a great deal for the popularity of MT, I agree, it's near incomprehensible. The only thing I can think is that they're eschewing personal blogs in favor of the potential $$ to be made in the corporate world. If that's the case, then I say, "good luck and sayonara".

Yes, as one of the people who voluntarily paid for the use of MT because I was well impressed with it after I left Blogger behind, I am now a bit miffed thinkin' I am gonna be thrown to the wolves.

So, how's that Word Press?

All I know 'bout that is when Kate at Electric Venom switched to it, the page only loaded, oh, about 15,000 times faster for me.

Wordpress is great. I switched over to it a couple weeks ago, and have been smooth sailing ever since. I was a die-hard MT user, but I got real tired of the rebuilding speed, and WP is dynamic, so no rebuilding time at all is needed.

I think SixApart really messed up. Even though I had already switched, I really thought they had potential for MT 3.0

ilyka, when I mentioned Word Press to Pixy, he said it was not capable of handlin' multiple blogs as would be necessary the way MuNu is set up at the moment. Pixy is supposedly workin' on developin' software to replace MT.

Considering it takes < 5 minutes to install a wordpress blog, its really easy to set up multiple wordpress blogs, one per folder/directory each working off of the same database, with different table prefixes. I have 7 running off of one server, different versions (nightly, beta, old, prehistoric, etc)
When wordpress later becomes multiple-blogs-off-the-same-admin-interface friendly, it will be easy to integrate all the existing blogs into it, it is said.

I'm working on converting my site over. The interface is fantastic, and the installation is easy as anything. Importing all my old entries was exceptionally easy, especially considering I had nearly 4,000 entries and 6,000 comments.

I'd recommend switching if you're uncomfortable with MT and comfortable with rebuilding all your templates with a new template language.

I have the latest Word Press and installing plug-ins is easy. And that's from a code illiterate person like me.

ilyka, when I mentioned Word Press to Pixy

Right . . . so why are you bringing that up HERE, exactly?

And dude. What is your thing against the -ing suffix? What is the issue with the letter "g." It is a perfectly respectable letter.

(Michele: Sorry. Last nerve. Someone standing on it.)

The amazing things are the rates they're charging -- exorbitant! For what they're charging a few folks could get together and pay someone with some decent programming skill to write blog software.

From a user's standpoint, MT is alright sometimes... but the code is really not very good at all.

Wordpress is great if you need something free. If you can pay, by all means pay for ExpressionEngine, not RebuildableType. EE is the best blog app on the market, hands down. But it's sorta expensive.

you could always make the relatively painless switch to Textpattern, all PHP/SQL driven, runs about 9 gabazillion times faster than MT.

Let me second and third and fourth that Expression Engine recommendation. I have paid licenses for pMachine I'm not even using. I started a new blog for kicks, and I bought EE...wow. I'm trying to figure out how to move my main blog format painlessly, because EE blows every other app away. I would LOVE to make the move permanently just as soon as I figure out how to move my design seamlessly.

Or I might just say to hell with it and futz with one of the standard templates.

For what they're charging a few folks could get together and pay someone with some decent programming skill to write blog software.

It'd take more than a few folks. If you were to hire somebody to sit down and write something as full-featured as MT from scratch, it would probably cost about six months of salary, if you're lucky. Given that it'd probably be 1099-MISC work, you're looking at between thirty and fifty thousand dollars in initial outlay, plus an ongoing support rate of between $30 and $50 an hour for modifications and user training.

The fact that so many programmers are willing to do work like this for free or for very little money should be considered a blessing for everybody else, not an expectation.

(more rebuttal)

I switched my blog from MT to WordPress last weekend, not due to Six Apart's announcement of pricing MT 3.0, but because I needed a dynamic, PHP-based solution for managing over 1600 posts and growing. It was starting to take too much time for MT to rebuild static pages every time I needed to update my weblog. With WordPress, I get PHP power, speed, and versatility.

To date, I'm pleased with WordPress and I have no regrets about switching to it.

I'm now running on WordPress. I love the speed and grace with which the software works.

MovableType... buhBye!

Diehard [eee!] users can switch to typepad, which ends up being cheaper.

I'm fucked.

Development of WordPress is moving very fast. I suspect any useful features of EE will be duplicated within five months. Assimilating the useful parts of MT took about four. The developers (including myself) are very open to discussion, suggestions, and general feedback.

The fuckyouverymuch sendoff is something that lefties like me and righties like you can agree on. I've been running on blog on Wordpress for a while and it is great.

I was disappointed there was no follow-up to the Civil War comment on your battles post. I did read about your argument with your friend. Isn't it amazing how wrongheaded we can think someone who basically shares our daily values can be?

What I've decided to do as my part of reducing the red-hot temperature of American politics is not to attack anyone's motives -- until proven otherwise, I will assume that anyone I disagree with has the same love of America, and the same desire to see their children grow up in freedom and prosperity that I do. It helps a bit, even when it is very hard (examples left out intentionally).

Yeah, with you on that one. I understand how they want to make some money now, but they're charging a bit too much for the entry-level product when there are equivalent products out there that are still free.

I'm going to start a blog soon. I guess I'll be using wordpress. I'm not going to cough up $70 for mt. It isn't that great.

Yeah, I was in the middle of explaining blogging to a potential new blogger and I hit the MT site with the new pricing scheme - holy crap!

Understandably, any business has to have a business model, and understandably, the one reason to be in business, as a business, is to make money. But ya gots to get them in the door before they open up their wallets, folks.

With the combination of hobbling the useability of the product, and attaching a rather hefty price tag at the same time, and doing so in a manner certain to sour virtually their entire customer base...we may have just witnessed the deatn nell of Six Apart as a viable company.

Phenomenally bad, bad business move, if any one asked my opinion. Hope they didn't pay a marketting whiz into talking them into doing it this way.

Heck, if they'd put the new version out there for, say $15 or $20 bucks standard, bumped up the support fees in a service level structured arragnement with elevating fees for service level, they probably could have still laughed all the way to the bank, kept all the unpaid volunteer developers interested, and maintained their biggest free marketting tool - the goodwill and personal recommendations of the blogosphere.

Instead, I hear the sound of a flushing commode, with the side track of an idle cash register.

I'm not sure what you guys mean about WP not supporting multiple blogs. You can set up seperate weblogs in their own directory, and share the MySQL database, but it requires a little bit of setup.

The real advantage that WP has is the use of PHP and MySQL in the back end. That's what makes page loads faster, but it also allows for lots of hacks and customizations, and there are tons of PHP gurus out there. Plus everything is open source, which not only makes it free, it makes it possible for others to dive into the code and improve it with plugins and complimentary programs.

Skillzy- what I believe they mean by WP "not supporting multiple blogs" is that your blogs have to be separate WP installations, with separate user bases, and you can't administer them from the same control panel (like you can in MT and EE). If you ran several blogs, that could get to be a real pain in the arse. I expect that will be fixed in a future WP release, if, as matt said above, all of EE's useful features will be duplicated (I'm HIGHLY skeptical of that claim overall, but we'll see.)

Not only SixApart have alienated their user and support community, they also misread the blog intent: instead of CMS, it becomes a publishing tool for a few to beread by the many. Not collaborative anymore.

I'm with you, brothers & sisters, in my shock at 6A's pricing, but I found someone who actually read Mena's entire post (I admit, I didn't; just looked at the pricing & read about 1/2 of the 300+ trackbacks)

Mena says, "We would recommend that, if you're not the type of person who likes to tinker with Movable Type or would require a installation, you hold off until the general release."

Seems that maybe MT 3.0 Developer Edition is just the first of a multiple release and that we should hold our spleen-venting until we get the entire story.

But, considering how tight-lipped they were about the pricing of MT3DE, we might be waiting awhile for that.

No gripes whatever about WP from here; I love it. Can't recommend it enough. The support from the WP community is great. And it's definitely faster.

Switching Terran to WP was already planned. This will just make it certain.

Rob has a good point, they do specifically state that this is a Developer Edition, which might account for the highly restrictive licensing. Still, cgi for high traffic sites is just ridiculous. PHP and dynamic modules are the way to go, the way I will recommend my clients go from now on.

I'm using B2 - Easy install - Supports Multiple Blogs - FREE. I'm not planning on changing anytime soon.

Here's their site: http://www.b2evolution.net

Matt, I'm not sure what programmers have you snowed, but I programmed my own blog and associated website in Colfusion over about 4 weekends and some spare evenings. I'd say there is about 100 hours of programmming in it. The models I used to build it with were my favorite blogs at the time which were mostly MT with a healthy dose of ScriptyGoddess.

Anyone that tells you it will take a team 6 months is just looking for job or financial security. That's not to take away from SixApart's right to make money, and I don't think anyone begrudges them that. I think most people are balking at the amount of money they are trying to get. From what I read, it's an all or nothing proposition. Perhaps they would do well to offer X writers and X+3 blogs for a mid-range price? Also, I think they would do well to consider the fact that the people who donated to them in the past only represent the upper 10% of their devoted fans and every donation they got also came with at least 10 referrals. I think they could mend a lot of fences by just giving a free upgrade to all who have donated in the past. Personally, I'd be offering free top of the line upgrades to anyone who sent me money when they didn't have to.

Re: Coding MT

Let me play a middling role here. If you were to hire someone to recreate 6A's code, it probably would take forever and cost a fortune -- but again, I'm not sure why anyone would pay for that codebase (from a programming perspective).

What's more, fully-dynamic sites are MUCH easier to write than fully static, or static/dynamic hybrids. As someone else who has custom-coded his blog software (which is currently being used by two other people as well) I'm just saying that MT is really just not worth paying much for. It doesn't do anything magical or complicated, and what it does do it does slowly and inefficiently.

As was pointed out in an Anti-blog rant along the way, MT seems to have been written by web designers, not "real" programmers.

That's not to say that people shouldn't be able to try to make money from software, but nobody is guaranteed a profit in this country (or anywhere else, so far as I know) and if you're peddling a mediocre product at high prices, you SHOULD have a problem making money.

We're gonna stick with MT 2.661 until WordPress catches up on a few features. We're pretty cheezed about this.

We are not talking about an enterprise app here - MT is a bunch of Perl scripts!

I've already got a test blog running on Blosxom - did it a few months ago just for fun. Based on everything I've read though - I want to give WordPress a good look before I make any decisions.

And for all you less nerdy types that never understood the big deal about Open Source software...this is the only lesson you need. When you use OS, you are never, ever held hostage at the mercy of the developer.

I've installed WP, but I'm having trouble with the templates (I'm so used to MT).

There is an alternate and extremely well-made CMS called TextPattern. It's easy to install and use, has plug-ins and its templates are really, really simple to figure out and develop. It's options are also very good.

I opted for WP over TP because you can convert your BlogRolling list over to your own domain and host it yourself (using WebLogs.com for pinging).

There is a third CMS called Nucleus, which is also powerful and filled with options and about 35 built-in plugins. It's great, but was too much for me to use.

Well Hell.

Could be the final nudge I need to switch from MT as well. Problem is, I don't really have the time or inclination to try to move my design to a different template system. Took long enough to get it to look the way I wanted it to as it is.

Misha- your layout is simple enough that it wouldn't take much to convert it to another blog tool. Probably 4 or 5 hours work at most for someone who knows what they're doing. I imagine one of your loyal minions would be happy to do the conversion for you if you decide to make a move.

Everyone who's concerned about this should go read Jay Allen's remarks. He makes the point that this is indeed a Developer's Release, meant to get all the plugin developers etc. up to speed. He doesn't address the pricing issue as such, but he is a voice of calm amidst this storm.

cool as shit: they're giving away ExpressionEngine to the first 1000 people who convert from competitor products including MT. If any is seriously contemplating a move, it might be worth checking into.

OK, so how do you export your entries from MT and import them into MT? I've got upwards of 2000 entries and 4 different blogs.